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absurd number of meds for BP1

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Let me preface this by saying that I understand that it's not helpful to compare your med cocktail with other people's, and that it should ultimately boil down to doing whatever it takes to manage your particular flavour of MI, but really.... I'm starting to despair.

I had a very rough time for many, many months, but recently started to stabilise and thought thank god, this is finally IT. Typically, I spoke too soon, as I've started sliding again and the past week has been hell. Skin crawling, can't settle down, can't get any extended amount of sleep, headache from hell -- it goes on. My next pdoc appt is in a fortnight, but I cracked this morning and called her. She's taking away the lantanon (I don't think many people here are familiar with it - it's a very old AD and was prescribed to give me an extra knock at night in combination with the seroquel), adding trazodone and diazepam.

So now I'm on:

WB 150mg

Lamictal 400mg

Lithium 750mg

Trileptal 1200mg

Seroquel 600mg

Trazodone (dunno, haven't picked up the script yet)

Diazepam 5mg prn

and I'm sitting here absolutely obsessing about the SHITload of meds that I'm now pouring into my system everyday. My tdoc "helpfully" reminded me at my last appt that I'm going to be on meds for the rest of my life, barring the hope that some scientist somewhere comes up with a single miraculous cure-all pill for BP in the next 50 years. Not unreasonable, I guess. But I'm 36 and women in my family live well into their 90's. I don't want to put up with this indefinitely. I understand that it would be bloody stupid to go off the meds, and I'm not going to try that, but looking at this fucking big box of pills everyday is just sickening. I've seen people here report that their BP1 is being managed with 1 or 2 meds and it's just... not fair.

I don't know what I'm hoping to achieve with this post, other than that I need to throw my toys about this because in the 4 yrs since I got the BP dx (after years of misdiagnoses) no combination has stabilised me for any decent period of time. I'm talking more than a couple of months.


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I forget, Mia, how long have you been on WB? I couldn't take it, high anxiety, yes, the skin crawling. Have you asked her about dropping it? It's a fairly low dose anyway, maybe it wouldn't hurt to try? Just a thought.

Instability sucks. Med-go-rounds suck. BP sucks. I know what you mean, I'm 45 and thinking, for 40 more years?

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This probably doesn't help much, but I know how you're feeling. I recently had the same kind of moment, looking at all the meds I'm taking, and wondering how I can possibly be so depressed, when I'm taking so many meds on a daily basis, and have tried so many, to no avail, in the past.

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Like Sasha, I know what you mean. I don't know if it helps, but I can relate.

I'm taking a lot of pills and now and then I really freak out about it. Usually I make a major rant on my blog [which I did sort of recently actually] and get kind of down about it for a bit, wish I could just start over or not take meds at all.

I was DX'd in 2001 after many years of instability and finally having a breakdown that summer. We've been working since then to find some sort of stable cocktail for me.

But the good news? I don't know if we've found it but I actually feel kind of ok. I'm having the occasional half hour to hour long mood swing, [which could actually be because I keep taking my pills late], but I feel generally ok.

So, I'll see how long this lasts, but I do really think there's a way to feel better for everyone. Just a matter of finding it. It doesn't end the frustration for now, but it will end.

I don't mean to sound preachy or like I've "found" the answer. Because I haven't.

I just... I totally hear your frustration. It always helps me to write it out on my blog. Just to kind of purge it from my brain.

I hope things look a bit better soon.


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Naturally, we aren't doctors but I would question repeatedly why three or four mood stabilizers, for starters.....but thats me. I hire a doctor for help and info, he doesnt hire me as a guineau pig.......

I may be totally wrong, but that med list is excessive........have pdoc explain why all the drugs. Clearly, then you can be more confident taking such a cocktail.....


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Naturally, we aren't doctors but I would question repeatedly why three or four mood stabilizers, for starters...

I didn't see this?


OOOOOHHH... Just kidding. heh.

I don't KNOW, obviously, but I bet at least one of those is a temporary measure. And at times, lithium and Lamictal are used to combat depression, so they may be possibly used in that capacity right now?

Just because you are on a lot of meds right now it doesn't mean that you will be on ALL of them forever. After you have acheived stability for a good amount of time you could experiment with cutting out one or two or more.

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If you don't like taking all those medications, then make a change. It's your body, only put what you want into it. If it bothers you tell your doctor that you want to cut back on the medications, or find a new doctor. When I was on medication I always took as little as possible for as short of a period as possible, so I understand your feelings.

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36, check

taking meds specifically for (previous SA dx but same meds) BP1 for 4 years, check

"stability achieved", nope don't have that one. Closest they got to that was "permanently depressed" which they seemed quite happy with but I found somewhat wearing.

At the beginning, I trusted my drs and took everything they said and didn't question them. Over time, I didn't find this helpful so I started learning and questioning things. I kind of have an uneasy truce currently with "kind of" trusting my drs (unless I deem them to be eedjits) but as soon as they prescribe a new med I will always try to get their reasons behind the prescription, and then I will rush home and read up on everything.

In terms of how many meds you are taking... well I think I maxed out at 6 at once before, but you're right that does seem a lot. It could be worth reviewing with your pdoc why you are taking them all and get them to explain their rationale behind this cocktail, possibly there might be some that don't need to be there - this can often happen especially if you have changed between drs a bit. It could also be worth researching these meds yourself, though understanding the way meds work when in a cocktail can be quite complex. Certainly being an informed patient is a good idea, and I've found the utility of such (though I still have a hell of a lot to learn). And it has the added bonus of annoying the occasional dr when you start getting all technical at them (especially if you tell them something they then have to look up)

I think I've rabbited on quite enough, anyway hang in there and best of luck

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I totally know how you are feeling. It's been about 7 years since I was dx'd bp1. Up until recently I was on 7 psych meds plus thyroid medication. My moods haven't remained stable for long. I have break through moods and a high tolerance for medication. It seems that a med kept getting added after an episode. Even though I was staying in a constant low-grade depression, my pdoc thought I ought to start coming off some meds to see what was doing what at this point. It wasn't possible to add anything else, that was for sure. I still see my pdoc about every 6 weeks.

So I'm actually down on meds and feeling more up. Of course, my job is more stressful right now and it seems to be inspiring some slight hypomania. I also see a tdoc to help monitor these moods.

I also read the book, Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder, which is nothing earth shattering, but happened to motivate me to make some lifestyle changes to help manage my moods. I have a better diet, no sugar or white flour, to help eliminate the daily mood swings due to up and down blood sugar levels. I have a regular sleep routine, to bed around the same time every night & up every day at the same time no matter what. I also have some more routine activities in my life. I think these changes have been helping my mood also. Now I need to start exercising to continue to follow these suggestions.

Who knows what is next? I sure don't.

I wish you luck.

Oreo ;)

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